Researchers have developed a tooth sensor which could monitor dental health and nutritional intake.
A team from Tufts University School of Engineering in Medford, Massachusetts have been working on the tiny sensor that can monitor a person’s glucose, salt and alcohol intake and it is just 2mm x 2mm in size.
Fiorenzo Omenetto, co-author of the study and professor of engineering at Tufts, told Alphr: “Managing and interpreting the data that this device provides can ultimately lead to the identification of patterns of consumption that could have an impact on diet regimens, health management, and maybe make us more aware our nutritional intake. One could envision nutrition monitoring and relate that to nutrition management.
“On the other hand, sampling and monitoring analytes in the oral cavity could help in a number of ways: from monitoring dental health to monitoring fatigue through saliva sampling. We are really limited only by our creativity. It is always hard to speculate, but one could think that these kinds of devices would have both medical and lifestyle applications.”
The sensor has three layers; the first being “bioresponsive”, meaning it absorbs chemicals found in food or drinks. From here, it transmits waves in the spectrum of the radiofrequency so it can pass on information to a smartphone or tablet about the nutrients. It works by, for example, when someone eats a food containing salt, it will make the sensor absorb and transmit an “intensity of radiofrequency wave.